Sodexo Commentary

A (Women’s) Day of International Importance

By Lorna Donatone
March 8th, 2013

Lorna Donatone

For many years, diversity and inclusion have been a hallmark of Sodexo’s development. We have long understood gender balance is an asset to the company. Giving high priority to the advancement of women with a wide range of partnerships, awareness programs and initiatives has done nothing but strengthen us as a company and a global workforce.

This is a cause I take personally and make it an integral part of my work with Sodexo through my volunteer efforts with other organizations, especially the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF).

I serve as the chair of the board and was recently honored to join WFF President and CEO Fritzi Woods in leading a delegation of more than 30 female foodservice executives to the White House to discuss the advancement of women in the workplace. It was a real milestone for our industry and I was so honored to be able to contribute.

I am also proud that Sodexo is committed to advancing women in the workplace with a focus on creating opportunities for female executives.  In 2009, Sodexo launched its SWIFt initiative (Sodexo Women’s International Forum for talent), a team of 25 senior women leaders to encourage a better representation by identifying main obstacles to women advancement and carrying out initiatives to address them. The implementation of operational Networks dedicated to gender diversity within the Group as well as programs focused on professional development are yet another example of Sodexo’s gender-balance strategy.

"Ms. Lang is broadly recognized as a pioneering female high-tech/Internet executive who believes personal interaction is the key" to an enhanced Quality of Life.

This year, Sodexo is celebrating International Women’s Day with events around the world highlighting the achievements of women. As the global leader in Quality of Life services, we believe diversity initiatives are just part of our greater mission to enhance local area communities.

In celebration of this important day, as well as Women’s History Month here in the United States, we are proud to introduce an 8-day online showcase of insights from 12 women, who span the globe. They are Sodexo clients, employees and opinion leaders –  from Brazil, Chile, the United States, India, France, Austria, Italy who hail from across several different business lines.

These 12 women share their view on Quality of Life in their everyday environment, as well as provide their expert insight on what a better Quality of Life for everyone means.

Women like Ilene Lang, the president of Catalyst, a group dedicated to expanding the opportunity for women and business. Having broken barriers in her own career, Ms. Lang is broadly recognized as a pioneering female high-tech/Internet executive who believes personal interaction is the key.  As a successful businesswoman, Ms. Lang has brought high energy and corporate savvy to the advancement of women in every sector of the global marketplace and we celebrate that achievement.

Please enjoy the creative profiles, artwork and insight into this important worldwide cause.

Lorna Donatone is a Sodexo Chief Operating Officer and Education Market President.

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